Jul 31, 2023

One Piece's Anime Just Made a Straw Hat's Character Even Better

The One Piece anime's Wano arc has received high praise for years, and episode 1061 earns even more of that for greatly improving one character's arc.

Warning: Contains spoilers for One Piece episode 1061.One Piece episode 1061 has recently aired, and it made one Straw Hat's—Sanji—character arc even better. Ever since Sanji's backstory was revealed, Sanji has had an arc of confronting his past and trying to figure out how to deal with it in the present instead of running from it as he had done his entire life. The Wano arc continued that with the reveal that using his family's raid suit was causing the genetic modifications Sanji thought were defective to activate, but rather than keep his best chance at defeating Queen, Sanji destroyed the raid suit to ensure that he wouldn't lose his humanity like the rest of his family.

Not only did One Piece episode 1061 continue that arc, but it also made it even better than the manga. Episode 1061 covered the end of Sanji and Queen's fight and the reveal of Ifrit Jambe, an upgrade of Sanji's Diable Jambe that incorporates his genetic modifications and establishes a middle ground between Sanji embracing his roots while keeping true to himself. That resolution is even better in the anime, however, as in addition to being another episode of One Piece with gorgeous art and animation, the way the anime expanded on the fight emphasizes Sanji's arc further and make its conclusion even bigger.

The reason why Sanji's arc works so much better in the One Piece anime than in the manga is that the anime incorporated the most important parts of Sanji's character into its resolution. In episode 1061, when Sanji once again refutes the idea of turning out like his family, Sanji has a vision of reuniting with Zeff before running off to the Straw Hats and reaffirming his place in the crew. All of that emphasizes how much Sanji values his humanity far more than the manga, and capping it off with a flashback to Reiju stating that Sanji's kindness makes him the best of the Vinsmokes sells that even further.

Related: The One Piece Anime Changed One Of The Manga's Most Important Battles

None of that, of course, means that the One Piece manga did a bad job with its execution of Sanji's arc. The manga's handling of Sanji's arc was great with how straightforward and to the point it is, but at the same time, the anime elevated the original material even further by bringing much of Sanji's character to the forefront to drive the point of Sanji fully accepting his humanity. Add in the gorgeous visuals and animation courtesy of Ryota Nakamura, Akihiro Ota, and Tu Yong-Ce, and it's hard to see episode 1061 as anything other than a massive step above the corresponding manga chapter.

Something that also helps to sell Sanji's character arc is how One Piece gave him the perfect villain in Queen. As a mad scientist who fully embraces the idea of turning himself into a monster with cybernetics, Queen embodies everything Sanji hated about Judge and the rest of the Vinsmokes, and the fact that he even used the same techniques as Sanji's brothers forced him to remember how much he hates his family even more. Fighting Queen essentially meant fighting exactly what One Piece's Sanji was afraid of becoming, so he was the perfect opponent for Sanji to fight as he grappled with his humanity.

Related: One Piece's Shanks Wanted One Unexpected Pirate To Join His Crew

What helped sell Queen as a great antagonist for Sanji even further was how much of his antagonism was deliberate. Throughout Sanji and Queen's fight, Queen repeatedly tries to make Sanji use his raid suit so he can prove that he's better than Judge, and the anime's interpretation of the resolution to Sanji's character arc was even kickstarted by Queen taunting him with the idea that he's fated to be just like his family. These actions and others help make Queen a truly despicable antagonist, but above all else, they made him the perfect one for Sanji to fight at the end of his latest character arc in One Piece.

One Piece releases new episodes Saturdays on Crunchyroll.

One Piece SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT One Piece Gave Sanji The Perfect Villain For His Character Arc One Piece One Piece releases new episodes Saturdays on Crunchyroll.